The episode of “Deadly Women” that features Manling was on again today. It’s the episode titled ‘Death Benefits.’ I promised my daughter that I wouldn’t watch it. That’s hard, because I was interviewed. Part of me is curious about what they used of me and how I did. Who wouldn’t be curious if they were on a television program.
There’s a part of me that also wants to KNOW. I always have. Why do the families of murder victims turn up in court, day after day? It certainly isn’t an easy thing to do. But there’s something that makes you want to know it all – even the worst. You need to know what happened to your child, and you need the unvarnished truth. It isn’t enough to read the newspaper articles and crime blogs, because they aren’t going to repeat everything word for word. They have to pick out the points that will interest their readers. But you, the parent, you need to know. Even when it’s terrible and distressing, you need to know it.
So, I sat through court and got the whole thing…all of it. With one exception, though. I chose not to view any of the crime scene or autopsy photographs. I asked one of the detectives for his honest opinion. He had seen everything there was to see, so I wanted to know if he thought I should look at them. He said, “No” and I took his advice. There was a small part of me that still wanted to see the worst and really know it all, but on the whole I’m glad I took his advice. The images my imagination puts in my dreams are bad enough, believe me.
As to the recreation of the crime on television, I don’t know. I’ve resisted it so far, because Mala and other family members feel strongly about it. I’m not sure I can resist forever, though. If this is how millions of viewers are going to perceive my boys’ story, then I want to know what is being put out there. They are mine, and I still feel a need to protect them. I know in my head that they can’t be hurt any more, but a mother’s heart feels what it feels. I still love them. I always will. Monkey.